What helps.

Help is a four-letter word.

Frustration, complaining, anger, and crying may all take place before I dare ask for help.

The thing is, I carry on my shoulders too much worry and too much fear. No wonder I possess a two-year-old diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder; no wonder I possess a memory of worries and fears going back nearly three decades.

I am beginning to accept that I need to move past the worries and fears and ask for help to avoid frustration, complaining, anger, and crying.

One of the biggest obstacles is my hatred of the telephone, my fear of the telephone. A couple therapists ago, back in junior high, gave me “homework” that entailed calling a couple of my classmates just to chat. I did it, laughed it off when time with that therapist was over, and never really got the hang of conversation on the phone, other than for work purposes.

Before long there was the internet and bulletin board systems and chat rooms and message boards and Twitter. Who needed to talk on the phone, when all emotions could be spilled onto the computer with people just waiting to support me? I thought that was help.

For several months now, my mother and I have chatted on the telephone almost every week, as I navigate through this latest rough patch. Not that long ago, I might have spoken with her maybe once a season. She insisted that the more she hears from me, the less she worries. Because helping others is not foreign to me, I relented; so began the weekly phone calls. Maybe she cannot understand or relate to what I am going through, but at least I hear her voice across the thousand miles between us. It helps.

Then, last month, I managed to divulge some of my troubles over the telephone to a trusted friend, more than I could express in an e-mail or in a message board posting. It felt good to speak out loud about these troubles to someone outside my psychiatrist’s office. It helps – and now I know I need to hear the voices of other friends, near and far.

Last week, I joined Team WILD (Women Inspiring Life with Diabetes). I am realizing that, this time, I cannot lose weight and I cannot gain back diabetes control without the kind of help this organization provides; not just through interactive webinars, but through one-on-one telephone calls with coaches and certified diabetes educators. I am seeking out help with something I thought I could do on my own, but has instead been filled with frustrations and complaints and anger and tears.

Slowly, I am coming to accept that it is not quite so crude to ask for help.

(This is a submission for the next Patients for a Moment, hosted by Hayzell at Possibilism. We are asked to write about the subject “Help”.)

Posted on March 29, 2011, in Anxiety, Diabetes, Family. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Scott K. Johnson

    It is hard to ask for help. But I’m very proud of you.

    I’m also excited to hear that you signed up for team WILD! Heather (Auntly H) has nothing but great things to say about them. :-)

  2. It takes a shit ton of courage to ask for help. Not that it gets any easier, but once you ask, things do get better.

    Also? For you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUCM5nK87mE

  3. Asking for help can be so hard. It’s funny cuz we all like to help a friend. It makes us feel good and who doesn’t like that? Being on the receiving end is sometimes not so great but – it works. Sometimes just having someone else listen is the most help you need.
    Best part of asking for help? Most of the time you get what you ask for. You’re not bombarded with unhelpful help. :)
    Talking to mom is wonderful. We mom people really, really like talking to our adult children, in good times and tough times.


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